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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

And then there was three [Steel Fist Samurai]

A little later than I expected (stupid real life!), here's the next couple of figures for Colonel Bill's. 

Figure #2:
Armed with a studded war club:-
The kanabō (金棒?) was a spiked or studded two-handed war club used in feudal Japan by the samurai. Other related weapons of this type are the nyoibo, konsaibo, tetsubō (鉄棒?), and the ararebo. Related solid iron weapons with no spikes or knobs are the kanemuchi (kanamuchi) and the aribo (gojo/kirikobo)

Kanabō and the other related types of these club-like weapons were constructed out of heavy wood, or made entirely from iron, with iron spikes or studs on one end. One or both ends of the wooden type clubs could be sheathed in iron. Kanabō type weapons came in all sizes and shapes with the largest ones being as tall as a man and a two-handed weapon while the smaller lighter ones were primarily one-handed and the length of a forearm.

The shape could be that of a baseball bat with a thick heavy end tapering towards a slender handle or they could be straight all the way from the handle to the end. The shaft cross-section could be round (as in a baseball bat) or polygonal; that is, it might be multi-faceted with flat surfaces arrayed around the central axis

The kanabō was also a mythical weapon, often used in tales by oni (Japanese demon) since they were reputedly extremely strong. Today there is a saying in Japanese: "Like giving a kanabō to an oni"—which means to give an extra advantage to someone who already has the advantage (the strong made stronger). A western rendering might be "like adding fuel to a fire".

It has been said that one purpose of the kanabō type of weapons was to smash enemies' armour, bones and the legs of their warhorses. The art of using this cumbersome weapon, kanabō-jutsu or tetsubō-jutsu, consisted of a mastery of both balance and strength; it required great skill to recover from a miss with the heavy club, which could leave a wielder open to a counter-attack.
Figure #3:
Armed with a glaive:-
The naginata (なぎなた, 薙刀) is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades (nihonto) in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class of feudal Japan, as well as by ashigaru (foot soldiers) and sōhei (warrior monks). The naginata is the iconic weapon of the onna-bugeisha-archetype, a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese nobility.

Naginata for fighting men and warrior monks were ō-naginata. The kind used by women was called ko-naginata. Since the naginata with its pole is heavier and much slower than the Japanese sword, the blade of the ko-naginata was smaller than the male warrior's ō-naginata in order to compensate for the lesser height and upper-body strength of a woman than an armoured male samurai.
So there is only one more Steel Fist Miniatures model to make and paint from the original blister pack I was handed to work with from Stuart. Work begins on that today, hopefully to be completed and handed back when I see Stuart at some point next week.

Cheers for looking.


  1. Replies
    1. @Martin Cooke: Thanks Martin.
      Not happy with the black armour or the blue padded clothing of that figure, to be honest. But it works as a contrast figure to the other two, so I won't be repainting it. By the time they're all based up it'll, hopefully, be lost in the crowd.

  2. Replies
    1. @TamsinP: Thanks Tamsin.
      Definitely a case of lovely sculpts helping out the painting duty [except where the idiot wielding the brush makes a mistake:) ]

  3. Replies
    1. @Phil: Thank you Phil. The models are quite a joy to work with.

  4. Replies
    1. @Gordon Richards: Thanks Gordon
      I have to admit that the more I look at the black armour guy the more I'm not happy with the end result. I might just try some contrast detail work on the armour, and possibly something to the clothing. Its just lacking something to my mind.

  5. I like these, and the blackarmour is so iconic that imho it would be an error ro re-paint it.
    Superb brushwork overall though - very jealous!

    1. @Zabadak: Thanks Joe
      Yes, I feel like I got myself into a Catch-22 situation with that black armour. The main issue is the fact that it is only a one coat of paint area on the figure, where-as all the rest feature at least another contrast layer of paint. So it isn't balanced. With the black being a glossy finish also doesn't help, probably.

      Anyway, I've gone back to the piece and tried to sort it so that I'm happy. I've kept the black armour, but tried to add small areas of dark colour to it in places. The main areas of my new work were on the blue clothing. I just wasn't happy handing it back to Stuart as the miniature was - when it stood next to the other paint jobs.

  6. These look absolutely tremendous Roy.

    1. @Michael Awdry: Thanks Michael
      I now know how they're to be based, so I'm going to have to borrow some of your basing ideas to make them look really good!

  7. Outstanding figures and brushwork!

    1. @Jonathan Freitag: Thanks Jonathan
      I have to say, having worked on them and giving it careful consideration, that these Steel Fist Miniatures figures are the best 'wargaming' miniatures I've come into contact with. It makes it so much easier when you can clearly see what it is you're painting and not having to guess or hide things in shadow.


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